East Bay Wine And Food Events For August 10th-12th

One of the reasons I love living is the Bay Area is its proximity to so many great wine regions – Sonoma, Napa, Santa Cruz Mountains to name a few.  But I also dig that I don’t have to get in the car and drive for 60-90 minutes to get to some great wineries, and wine events.  There are lots of urban wineries in the East Bay, and the Livermore Valley wine region is only about a 20 minute drive for me.

I was doing some planning for my birthday next weekend, August 10th-12th, and noticed there is a trio of great East Bay wine and food events on tap.

Friday – August 10th

Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda is going to be the place to be.  On Friday evening from 5-9P, they are hosting Rock Wall Food Truck Frenzy (click here to find out more and buy tickets).  Besides some great wines, Rockwall is a great venue for events.  Check out what they say…

Rock Wall is located in a 40,000 sq. ft. airplane hangar on the former Alameda Naval Airbase and our winery and tasting room boasts spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline.

Some of the Bay Area’s best food trucks will be on hand to dish some great gourmet street food.  A DJ will be dropping the beats, and of course there are the great Rockwall wines served by the glass! I’ve been to a couple of these.  You will NOT leave hungry, and they’re big fun!

Saturday – August 11th

Rock Wall is the place to be again on Saturday for ZAP Grill-O-Rama, the quintessential Zinfandel and BBQ-a-palooza! (click here to find out more and buy tickets) hosted by The Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (“ZAP”).

Image courtesy of ZAP – Zinfandel Producers & Advocates

This is the “Big Dog” of the three events!  According to ZAP…

Attendees will discover the distinct flavors of Zinfandel from up and down California including the Bay Area, Lodi, Napa, Paso Robles, Sierra Foothills, and Sonoma: this is an opportunity to taste and compare 30 different Zinfandels from 9 growing regions. 4 savvy chefs—Chef Tyler Stone, Chef John Ledbetter of Bocanova, Chef Dawn Wofford of Sonoma Smokehouse and Chef Sophina Uong of Pican—will fire up the grills to create tantalizing tastes served alongside the wines. A “People’s Choice” award will be chosen by the attendees.

The weather forecast for next weekend is looking great, so look for the hangar doors to be open, with those fantabulous views in full-effect at Rock Wall!  Of the 30 or so wineries on hand a few of my East Bay favorites, Dashe Cellars, JC Cellars and of course Rock Wall will be pouring their Zins.  Hit me up in the comments if you’d like my recommendations from Lodi, Napa, and Paso…

Sunday – August 12th

And last, but not least there’s the Nile Canyon Railway Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special (click here to find out more and buy tickets). It’s Livermore Valley’s version of the Napa Wine Train.  You’ll learn about the historic Niles Canyon Railway, which has been rolling through Niles Canyon since 1869, and taste Livermore Valley wines paired with hors d’oeuvres.

It’s going to be a great weekend for wine and food events in the East Bay! Check ’em out!

Paso Wine Man Redux

Another great video from the Paso Robles Wine Alliance, featuring Paso Wine Man!  Makes me want to go to Paso!  This one is promoting the Paso Robles Wine Festival

Related Video:

Paso Robles Zinfandel Man

Paso’s Robles’ Zinfandel Man

Here’s a parody on the Old Spice commercial for Paso Robles’ Zinfandel festival.   A little background on Zinfandel from Wikipedia may help give some color to the clip:

“Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. DNA fingerprinting revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in the “heel” of Italy, where it was introduced in the 18th century. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century”

It is now widely known as “America’s”  vine and wine.

p.s. Paso Robles is a wonderful wine tasting region….worth the drive!

Wine Festivals

Went to Urban Wine Experience(UWX) 5 today. Urban wineries are wineries that don’t own any vineyards, instead they purchase grapes from growers and make wines. It was the best yet.

What I enjoy about wine festivals is that you get to try a bunch of wineries without driving all over the place. UWX was 18 wineries. There were 53 wines available to try. We tried 28.

We’ve been to a lot of wine festivals, but today was the first time we were rigorous about trying whites before reds. Lots of good food and food/ wine pairings, which is always nice. I was also pretty good about using dump buckets which kept me from reaching the tipping point. Found a few gems.

Here are my wine festival do’s and don’ts;

1. Do pace yourself
2. Do sip and spit, or use the dump buckets – especially wines you don’t care for.
3. Do try wineries and/or wines you haven’t tried before
4. Do take a break to enjoy the food and/ or music. It’s not a race.
5. Do stay hydrated.
6. If possible – start with white wines, then move on to reds – or if you just want reds, start with Pinot Noir or other lighter red before moving on to heavier reds.
7. Don’t feel like you need to try every wine because you paid for it.